Commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland will invest Rs 1,000 crore in setting up an integrated electric bus manufacturing plant in Uttar Pradesh.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Ashok Leyland and the Uttar Pradesh government in the presence of chief minister Yogi Adityanath here on Friday.
Ashok Leyland maiden plant in UP will foster its green mobility roadmap for India. Apart from the manufacturing of electric buses, the plant will assemble other vehicles operated by emerging alternative fuels.
The plant will initially have the capacity to produce 2,500 buses per year, which will be gradually expanded up to 5,000 vehicles per year over the next decade concomitant to the projected rise in demand for electric buses going forward.
The new unit will start in the next 18 months and the work on various dimensions of e-mobility will be done in a phased manner.
Ashok Leyland plans to convert its entire fleet of diesel buses and commercial vehicles into electric and other alternative fuels in the coming years.
Meanwhile, Yogi averred it was a historic milestone since Ashok Leyland did not have a presence in UP, which has a population of more than 250 million even as he underlined that the state was committed to providing security and facilities to all investors.
“Reducing emissions through cleaner public and freight transportation is an important step in achieving the Net Zero goal,” he added.
Interestingly, UP logs the registration of maximum electric vehicles (EVs), while the state is taking steps to develop more charging stations. Electric vehicles are being incorporated into the UP State Roadways Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) fleet as well.
Ashok Leyland chairman Dheeraj Hinduja said the company, which was celebrating its 75th anniversary, started discussions about the proposed investment in UP on Aug 10 and the MoU was firmed up on Sep 15.
UP industrial development minister Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’ said Ashok Leyland’s investment will create additional employment opportunities, thereby strengthening the overall economy of the region.